Sheffield steel worker compensated for burn injuries

Burn injury compensation claim


A Sheffield steel worker has received £10,000 following his burn injury compensation claim after being left with permanent scarring due to an accident in the workplace.

Burn injuries in the workplace

With help from Sheffield-based experts at national law firm Irwin Mitchell, Gary Bellamy, 49, of Old School Drive, Parson Cross in Sheffield, was awarded the sum by way of negotiation, following a burn injuries compensation claim against William Cook Cast Products, based in Parkway Avenue, Sheffield.

Mr Bellamy, who was working as a Foundry Manager at the time of the accident in February 2002, was melting manganese scrap metal in a furnace when it exploded, covering him in molten metal.

He said: "A colleague of mine and I were melting metal in the furnace in the usual way. My colleague had just informed me that a new load was ready to go in and I was putting it in the furnace, the metal started to block it up. I went to fetch the bar we use to push metal in and as I was walking towards it, the metal suddenly dropped into the furnace, causing a splash.

"Molten metal fell all over me and set my clothes ablaze - I was in immediate pain and ripped my safety clothes off. My colleagues heard the noise and ran to help. There was no first aider on site, so my colleague took me to Sheffield's Northern General Hospital."

Mr Bellamy was given morphine at the hospital as he was badly burned. He was prescribed painkillers and anti inflammatory ibuprofen, which he took to the maximum recommended dose. He returned to hospital several times to have his wounds re-dressed.

He said: "After returning to work, I felt tired, rundown and noticed I was falling asleep easily. I developed diarrhoea and back pain. I visited my GP for blood tests and was admitted to the Northern General hospital again for emergency tests."

Injury leading to Crohn's disease

Over the next two months, Mr Bellamy lost four stones in weight and was admitted to hospital a further three times for tests. He was eventually diagnosed with Crohn's disease and had an operation in July 2002 to remove part of his stomach lining and colon and to fit a stoma bag. Further operations were carried out in June 2003, where the stoma bag was replaced and September 2003 where the bag was removed. Mr Bellamy returned to work in October 2003.

The compensation claim was handled by Lynne Parker, a personal injury expert based at Irwin Mitchell's Riverside offices.

She said: "Mr Bellamy has been left with permanent scarring from the surgery on his stomach and skin discolouration to the right hand, right elbow, forearm, abdomen and leg. The employer had suggested that the metal was wet and that Mr Bellamy should have known it was not to be placed in the furnace as it would cause an accident, but Mr Bellamy maintains he had no way of knowing if it was wet and that a colleague also informed him the metal was ready to be inserted in the furnace.

"Although this case was settled by way of negotiation, the Health and Safety Executive investigated the accident and issued an Improvement Notice, making recommendations regarding furnaces and the risks associated. This case highlights the importance of full training in the workplace as well as the importance of health and safety policies to avoid accidents and injuries, such as those suffered by Mr Bellamy, occurring."